Wednesday, 18 June 2014
Gardens evolve. It’s just what they do. Plants grow. New plants are added. Circumstances change. Paint colours are updated. New focal points are added. It’s part of the beauty of gardening, watching and helping them evolve over the months and years. Our own garden has changed a lot over the last four years. Read on to see how…
Back in 2010, we were itching to get out into the garden and transform it. We had spent the previous couple of years completely renovating our house and the garden had been put on the back burner. The design was ready – we had been beavering away perfecting it every time we had a minute so we were sure it covered everything we wanted it to.
Another driving force to get the garden completed in 2010 was that we had decided to get married in it that September. Cue asking all our friends for help!
We had inherited a modest sized garden (approx 15m x 15m) and it was pretty much a blank canvas. We knew there were some amazing views hidden behind an overgrown hedgerow and an old rotten apple tree – it was a priority for us to showcase that view again.
Other must-haves on our list included a morning patio, a large deck for entertaining in a sunny corner, lawn, a veg patch and to attract wildlife.
The first job was to bring in the BIG machinery and clear the garden:
We could then work on adding in some new boundaries. We opted for a contemporary horizontally slatted fence to the sides but in order to maximise the views and to work with the landscape beyond we created a log fence to the rear of the garden. You can see through the fence as well as easily seeing over the logs and we chose to paint them black to keep them contemporary as well as to be a great backdrop to the planting. A new “archway” added height to the garden. Raised veg beds were a priority so that we could get some home produce on the go:
The next consideration were seating areas. The sunniest corner was up beside the new log fence which also had a risk of being a bit boggy from the fields. We decided a raised deck was our best option but we didn’t want any ordinary deck! Firstly we built brick troughs with bespoke seating in between for additional seating:
Thermawood was our choice of material for the decking and we laid this in different patterns to create interest. We also added large glass blocks with lighting set underneath and in-set a feature Prunus Serrula tree.
[[image:blog-vivelaevolution-7.jpg=The deck boards are laid and lights fitted]]
The morning patio was our next task on our list. A contemporary limestone was our choice of material for this part of the garden:
We were keen to get planting in ASAP so that it could fill out as much as possible before the wedding. Laying out the plants that we had and markers for those which we we still had to source took a lot of time and planning!:
We are always telling clients that journeys and focal points are an important part of all gardens, no matter the size. As we wanted our garden to be wildlife friendly a water feature was something we were keen to include and thus the “canal” was born. The long, rectangular pond had stepping stones across it which were to become the aisle for the wedding in the coming months. At the far end we placed a bespoke sculpture made of a corten steel globe to draw the eye upwards to the wonderful view beyond:
A curving path leading up to the main deck would become obscured as the plants matured over time, adding mystery to the garden. Some turf completed the garden build (for now…):
The garden was completed just in time for the Big Day!
As with all gardens, they mature and evolve. And as lives change so do your garden requirements. A HUGE change for us was welcoming our little Lulu into the world in 2012. We knew we wanted the garden to be a safe place for her to play and enjoy being outdoors. Whilst there are ways of securing ponds to make them child friendly (we are about to install pond grid on a project we are undertaking for Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre) our pond was suffering from alkalinity issues which were impacting on the aquatic plants. We decided that it was best all round to fill in the pond and create a larger, grassy area for Lulu to run around.
To stop Lulu wandering off we put a gate on the garden made from old pallets. We also made a few herb pallet planters for our herbs:
And while we were at it we used even more pallets to create this personalised sand pit on the morning patio:
Storage became more of an issue so we made our own garden shed out of old pallets and some fence slats. A living roof, a spoon handle, love heart peephole and chain overflow added to its quirkiness. A bespoke bird table made from left over timbers and some samples of cedar cladding was also added to the garden.
We decided we wanted to add a splash of colour to the garden so we introduced some lovely pink pots to our morning patio:
The pink then inspired us to give the troughs on our deck a bit of a makeover:
Upcycling has been a big theme for 2014 and we created a new “pot” for the deck out of some old trailer tyres:
And the wheel rims didn’t go to waste either. Lulu sowed some bee and butterfly friendly seeds in them:
The veg patch has filled out and provides lots of lovely fruit and veg for the family:
The planting has matured nicely and the curving path now leads you round to discover what lies beyond. A new corten steel lantern is one of several new focal points which have been placed in borders:
The planting has filled out nicely and the bees love it!:
The globe is still a key focal point and is now surrounded with pretty planting:
So over a short period of time our garden has grown, matured and evolved and continues to give us all a great deal of pleasure.
For more information on transforming your own garden please get in touch.
All at Vialii